5 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Gray Hair
Human Hair goes gray when color-producing cells stop producing pigment, says Jeffrey Benabio, MD, a dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide can also build up in the hair, bleaching the colour. Half of all people have a significant amount of gray hair by the time they turn 50 years of age.
Experts have explained why some of us are destined to develop some gray hair at an early age. Gray hair usually happens to all of us at some point. But, why do some people go gray in their early 20s while others don’t see the first sign of gray hair until after 50 years?
The good news if you fall into the first category (going gray at an early age): Scientists are hard at work on how to prevent this. So, what do researchers know that you don’t?
Stress Seems to Play A Role
“Stress won’t cause you to go gray directly,” says Dr. Roopal Kundu, associate professor in dermatology at North-western University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “But stress is implicated in a lot of skin and hair issues.” During an illness, for instance, people can lose hair rapidly. And the hair you shed after a stressful event like chemotherapy, may grow back in a different colour.
2. Normal Aging Is the Biggest Culprit
There is no surprise with this one. Dermatologists call this the 50-50-50 rule. “Fifty percent of the population has about 50% gray hair at age 50,” says Dr. Anthony Oro, professor of dermatology at Stanford University. Just like skin, hair changes its texture with age, says Dr. Heather Woolery Lloyd, director of ethnic skin care at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Lifestyle Makes A Difference
Smoking, for instance, stresses your hair and skin. “Low vitamin B12 levels are notorious for causing loss of hair pigment,” says Dr. Karthik Krishnamurthy, director of the Dermatology Center’s Cosmetic Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. Try eating foods such as liver and carrots, recommends Dr. Wilma Bergfeld, a senior dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Foods packed with certain vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants may help protect cells against toxins and help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other ailments (and possibly gray hair!).
Your Hair Basically Bleaches Itself
Most of us are familiar with hydrogen peroxide as a way to go blonde, but it’s basically also the way we go gray. According to a 2009 research study published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, hydrogen peroxide naturally occurs in our hair follicles, and as we grow older, it builds up. The build-up blocks the production of melanin (which is our hair’s pigment).
Your Hair Doesn’t Turn Gray, It Actually Grows That Way
According to research, a single hair grows for one to three years, then you shed it and grow a new one. As you age, your new hairs are more likely to be white. “Every time the hair regenerates, you have to re-form these pigment-forming cells, and they wear out,” says Oro.
EMBRACING THE GRAY HAIR
More young mothers, professionals, and even runway models are opting to “go gray,” says Diana Jewell, author of Going Gray, Looking Great.
“The myth that gray hair makes you old is just that — a myth. If you were young, vibrant, active, healthy pre-gray, you’re still going to be that way. It’s all in the attitude you bring to it,” Jewell says. “If you think of it as merely another colour choice, you won’t be afraid of gray.”
Below Are Simple tips that can help you go gray with style:
- If you’ve been dyeing, consider going short haircut. You will look good.
- Go for modern haircuts. King recommends a style with sharper edges, such as “a graduated bob of some type, some really smooth bangs, a really nice fringe.”
- Take good care of your hair-Shampoos with a blue base can help prevent gray hair from developing a yellowish cast, says Jewell, check her list of products at http://goinggraylookinggreat.com. Try using a conditioning mask once every month to keep your hair well-moisturized.
- Enjoy your best life. “Beauty is not determined by the colour of a woman’s hair,” says Cindy Joseph, a silver-haired model for Ford Models Inc. and CEO of Boom! By Cindy Joseph makeup line. “The ability to take joy in her life is what makes a woman truly beautiful.”
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